May 30, 2012
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PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. – The University of Iowa men’s golf team is in 18th place after two rounds at the 2012 NCAA Championships. The Hawkeyes posted a second round of 299 (+15) and are five strokes out of match-play qualification (eighth place) with a 36-hole total of 589 (+21). Pacing the Hawkeyes is freshman Joseph Winslow, who is tied for 16th with one round of stroke play remaining. The Championships are being held at The Riviera Country Club, a par 71, 7,292-yard track in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
“I knew that after today’s round is when you really find out where you stand,” said Head Coach Mark Hankins. “Yesterday was a decent start for us, but today we didn’t have anybody playing great out there. We’re going to stay positive tonight, stick to our game plan and go out and try to shoot the best score we can tomorrow.”
Senior Barrett Kelpin led the Hawkeyes through second round action. The Kalamazoo, Mich., native recorded an 18-hole mark of one-over par 72. Teeing off hole number one in the afternoon wave, Kelpin recorded a birdie on the 503-yard, par 5, one of four Iowa golfers to do so. He found trouble in the middle of his front nine but scrambled for back-to-back birdies on seven and eight to make the turn at even par.
Kelpin moved back under par with a birdie on 11 but lost it with a double on 12 and a bogey on 14. He settled in to close his round one-under on the last four holes, which included a birdie on the 590-yard, par 5 17th hole. Kelpin is currently tied for 53rd with a 36-hole total of 147 (+5).
“It was kind of up and down today,” said Kelpin of his second round. “I had two doubles and five birdies. I started off poorly and had to work my way back. I eventually got back to one-under par after starting off two-over early. I kind of had a few hiccups on the back nine but finished with a birdie on the 17th hole; 72 seems like it was a pretty good score today.”
Winslow sits seven strokes out of the individual lead with a second round of 75 (+4), Iowa’s second-lowest mark of the day. He played the front nine at 38 (+3) but found a red number on the 11th hole, bringing him back to two-over on the round and even par for the tournament.
With a bogey on 12 and a double on 13, Winslow was five-over on the round with two to play. He went birdie-par to close on 17 and 18, respectively, and owns a two-round score of 144 (+2). Winslow is tied for 16th in the Championships.
Freshman Ian Vandersee, who also posted a second round of 75 (+4), is tied for 69th. With three birdies to seven bogies on the round, Vandersee owns a tournament total of 149 (+7). Sophomore Steven Ihm is also tied for 69th with a score of 149 (+7). Ihm recorded birdies on his first and last holes, but struggled to find a rhythm in between and finished Wednesday’s round at 77 (+6).
Senior Chris Brant went two-over on the front nine and four-over on the back nine with a birdie on each. The two-time All-Big Ten honoree finished the day at 77 (+6). He is currently tied for 104th place with a tally of 152 (+10).
“We had trouble relaxing and finding our zone out there this afternoon,” said Hankins. “Every shot counts, but you have to be your own biggest fan and we let a few things get to us on the back side and it cost us some shots. We’re definitely not out of this thing. We have to get back to competing each shot at a time and take what the round offers. Scores aren’t great out here and today proved again that even par is a good number in college golf.”
The third and final round of stroke play will begin Thursday morning. The Hawkeyes will tee off on the first hole and will play with Auburn and Central Florida, beginning at 10:20 a.m. (CT). Teams are vying for the coveted top-eight positions, in order to be placed in the match-play bracket to compete for a national title. Fans can follow the live scoring at ncaa.com.